The Outcome of Leadership


The outcome of leadership is influence, the ability to cause people to achieve a compelling vision.  Achieving a compelling vision is the foundation of leadership.  Leadership always starts with vision and the leader influencing everyone to see the same vision.  So leadership, in its simplest form, is the ability to turn vision into reality. Thus the outcome of leadership is vision, accompanied with passion and action. This is as follows:

  • Vision is your dream for the future of your business and your life.
  • Passion is the way you do things and the energy you put into whatever you do.
  • Action is what you do and the way you do it.

You can always judge a leader by the presence or absence of these three characteristics:  compelling vision; whole hearted passion; and massive action.

If a leader is not committed to these three things, then there will be little performance, because true commitment always leads to outstanding performance.  All they will do is manage in a mediocre way and repeat ongoing performance –“what is” rather than “what could be”.  I will address the difference between leadership and management in our next blog.

The outstanding purpose of leadership is always about rallying people to a better future.  Leaders are characterized by discontent and an attitude of “I am not satisfied”.  They are never satisfied with the present because they can always see a better future.  To achieve a better future, leaders will necessarily have four major strengths:  optimism; strong belief; excellence and empathy.

 A leader must have a vision-based optimism to believe deeply that they can make things better because they have a compelling vivid picture of the future eg: Martin Luther King.  They then have no choice but to do all in their power to make this a reality.  Accompanying this is a strong belief that they are the one to make this future come true and to transform the present with something better eg: Ghandi.  This strong belief is strengthened by an independent, self assured, self confident commitment to achieving large goals.

Their way of operating is from a strong claim to excellence and an ability to achieve this.  The self worth of a leader is inextricably wrapped up in making such claims and their ability to realise them.  The most important core strength of great leadership is extended empathy.  No matter how good a leader’s achievements are, or how valuable their experience and expertise, when a leader lacks extended empathy, he loses the ability to lead because leadership is first and foremost about relationship.

In conclusion, leaders perform the role well when they find a way to empower people to be excited and confident in a better future through commitment to a compelling vision of an important cause.  It is through their optimism, beliefs, excellence and their words, actions, images and pictures that leaders will help their people to succeed.